Back in Seattle, check out the new album from rapper/producer Starr Spazzin, More Kush. Unabashedly adherent to the codes of violence and retribution that rule the streets everywhere, the narrator of Kush nonetheless packs a smooth yet dead-eyed charm, as well as a litany of firearms. Starr also espouses the growth and development in his set's bylaws: "Take the nation to a new plateau/Creating opportunities for the black folks/Woke up with the feeling, 'cause it's that real/Tired of shooting at these niggas, 'cause I got kids."
While we're in the CD, though, let me tell you about Rogers Thriftway, a terrific new project from Seattle original Amos Miller. Amos, whom you might know from—among a few things in the past 15 years or so—the Heartfelts (with Jahon Mikal and Hollis Wong-Wear), texted me to drop off a disc. He hopped out of his car, a "black Mazdarati" as he called it, and before I knew it, he'd handed me one of the more distinctive physical copies I've ever gotten: a little screen-printed paper grocery bag containing a CD and printed-receipt liner notes. He started to spin me the album's concept, revolving around this store, which once stood on MLK and Union, where the Gross Out now stands. "THIS IS THE STORY OF LOST IDENTITY, REBIRTH OF CULTURE, AND THE INSTITUTION OF RACE IN AMERICA," the credits proclaim. Produced by Miller with assists from Mikal and plenty of others, it immediately snared me with its fun, funky, and porch-front intimate feel, reminding me of solo Donald Fagen meets Citizen Cope, produced by Andre 3000, or Gorillaz meets Curumin at the family barbecue. CD-centric, Seattle-specific in its conscious concept, it's delightfully quirky town-bred soul. Word on the street is he's got something cooking with Jake One, as well, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I recommend you shop right with Amos at www.rogersthriftway.com.